Curlin’ Up With Cocoa: Cozy Hotel Libraries That’ll Warm You Up This Winter

by Jane Reynolds on December 19, 2011

It’s chilly out there, and sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a book — or even just the cocoa. But when you’re staying in a hotel, it can be tricky to find the perfect corner for dozing off reading. That’s where we come in — Oyster.com investigators have stayed at hundreds of hotels with libraries that run the gamut: everything from one-book “lending libraries” to luxurious library-themed bars to entire hotels devoted to the Dewey Decimal System. So pick a book (or turn on your Kindle) and check out our favorite hotel libraries below!

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

For the dignified historian: The Jefferson, Washington DC

After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique hotel reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. The staff went to great lengths to incorporate aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s life that are less known than his accomplishments as a statesman and an author. Jefferson the architect? The custom-made toile draperies in the rooms depict scenes from Monticello and other buildings he designed. Jefferson the book lover? Enter the lovely library, and peruse its impressive collection of vintage hardcovers (Writings of Thomas Paine, The Age of Voltaire, Encyclopaedia Americana). With the blazing fire, the velvet chairs, and the resulting romantic ambiance, any historian would feel right at home in this intimate, luxurious space.

The Library at The Sebastian - Vail

The Library at The Sebastian - Vail

For the skier reader: The Sebastian – Vail

This luxury boutique resort opened in Vail in 2010, and prices are often more than fair for what you get: Two great restaurants, including the farm-to-table Block 16, plus a chic lounge; an outdoor pool; four Jacuzzis; an upscale spa; and beautiful, high-end decor in the airy lobby and cozy (yet spacious) library — no cabin kitsch here. The lobby has light stone walls, a barrel ceiling with wood beams, stylish furniture, and a sleek black fireplace with a surround of perpendicular stacked wood slats. The intimate library, by contrast, is a cozier area with comfy leather seating, dim lighting, and an extensive collection of books within its towering black bookshelves. Guests can also find free newspapers in the library every morning.

The Reading Room at the Library Hotel

The Reading Room at the Library Hotel

For the true librarian: Library Hotel

This homey, literary-themed boutique, located down the block from New York’s famous Public Library, features 60 rooms organized in the Dewey Decimal System. The 2nd-floor reading room is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (Nixon, Neruda, or Tom Wolfe, anyone?), and fresh orchids sit on each of the tables. Guests can come at any hour to pore over the paper (New York Times or USA Today, TimeOut New York or City) with pastry and a cup of coffee or an espresso from their La Cimbali machine.

The Library at the Viceroy Santa Monica

The Library at the Viceroy Santa Monica

For the design diva: Viceroy Santa Monica

Best known for its sexy bar and pool scenes, the Viceroy Santa Monica is one of the few beach-focused hotels in Santa Monica with a library — and a super stylish one at that. The Kelly Wearstler-designed hotel features some of her favorite motifs, such as animals and pops of color. In the library, however, she went for a 60s homey vibe with lemon-yellow furniture and a shag carpet, but she still kept it fashion-forward with funky bookshelves (reflected in the mirrored coffee table) and a modern chandelier.

The Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel

The Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel

For the literary partier: Hudson Hotel

Okay, so the Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel may not be an actual library, but it’s certainly cozy enough to be one. The hotel features four popular bars — and though celeb sightings were more frequent back when the hotel first opened in 2000, the Library Bar still draws in an attractive, fun crowd. But the scene is calmer now, so you probably could curl up with a book and some spiked cocoa if you wanted to.

The Library at The Iroquois

The Library at The Iroquois

For the vintage lover: The Iroquois

Five minutes from Grand Central and 10 minutes from bustling Times Square, the Iroquois is an uncommonly quiet, 114-room hotel with an ideal Midtown West location. The hotel’s biggest asset, however, is its library. Right by the entrance, it has huge, blown-glass windows looking out onto 44th Street and a collection of vintage books. There’s also a complimentary computer and printer if the free Wi-Fi (available throughout the hotel) doesn’t cut it. Besides books, the hotel also offers complimentary DVD rentals (which you can watch from your in-room DVD player).

Other libraries we’d love to curl up in:

The Library at the Draycott Hotel

The Library at the Draycott Hotel

Draycott Hotel in London

The Library at the Trump SoHo New York

The Library at the Trump SoHo New York

Trump SoHo New York in New York City

The Library at The Grand Del Mar

The Library at The Grand Del Mar

The Grand Del Mar in San Diego

The Library at the Rosewood Sand Hill

The Library at the Rosewood Sand Hill

Rosewood Sand Hill in Silicon Valley

The Library at the Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa

The Library at the Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa

Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa in Jackson Hole

The Library at The Westin Portland

The Library at The Westin Portland

The Westin Portland in Portland

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